Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thoughts on me...

So today I ditched the 10am Boot Camp for some retail therapy with a good friend who just lost her father.

We got back in time for me to do my 11am training and when I arrived David & Jesse were no where to be found but Mike was teaching the class.

Apparently David and Jesse decided to take the newest member of the Boot Camp family and jump her in via a nutso crazy bad ass workout.

They wandered back in around 11 looking like a pack of zombies.

I could  not imagine what they had done to make 3 of the most in shape folks I know look like the walking dead.

Wanna know what they did?

100 box jumps with a weighted vest
20 box jumps without the vest
40 box jumps with a lap in between each set of 10
60 straight box jumps no run
(are you all keeping up with this math!? That's 220 box jumps and 4 laps)
Then that clearly wasn't enough for these crazy kids so they all grabbed a tire weight, slung it over their shoulders and ran to the stairs where they did 5 flights of stairs 5 times (5 X 5 = 25 flights) dumped the tire weight and did 5 more rounds of the 5 flights (another 25 flights!)

Did I mention that Jesse did a full Boot Camp class prior to this zany workout?!

My first reaction? Straight up jealousy. The little kid in me is stamping her foot and pouting
"I wanna do it too!" 

The trouble is if I'd attempted even one of these things I'd be on the floor having a heart attack.

I STILL struggle with all things cardio. I don't understand it and it frustrates me more than anything else on this planet.

Will I ever be able to run the loading dock more than half way without feeling like I'm going to drop from exhaustion? Will I ever be able to do more than 5 burpees without struggling and having to go to the easier version? Will star jumps or sit ups or jumping jacks ever not leave me drained?

I know it's not my heart beacuse I just had it checked and it's doing it's thing in the proper fashion. It can't be my muscles because I'm able to lift the weights and Kettlebells with no trouble. 

I think perhaps a visit to my doctor is in order.  Perhaps there is something going on that I'm not aware of. Perhaps there is a physical explanation to why I have absolutely no staminia for anything that gets my heart rate elevated.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

Here is video of today. The four folks you see are the Hoboken Boot Camp coaches. My beloved Mistress Jesse is the one laying down in the back, David has the green shirt on, Linda is the newest coach (and the one I believe they were hazing with this workout today) and then Mike who has his back to the camera most of the time.

Thoughts on this video:
I think my swings will always be "squaty" simply because of how I am shaped and the length of my legs.
I love how strong my arms look when I'm doing swings.
I love that I worked hard enough yesterday to have a raw spot in the palm of my left hand.
I don't love how much it hurt today when I gripped the Kettlebell with that hand.
I'm still hoisting the Kettbell during the Clean and Press. I believe this will change with the heavier weight and I'm going to test this theory tomorrow.
My arms currently feel like Jello supported by popsicle sticks and I'm really thankful for this quick and easy practice session today. I don't think I could have done much more.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Today was I think, my most bad ass day at Boot Camp yet. I put 110 pounds up over my head 20 times.
David and I had agreed to start getting serious about training for the Certification and decided we were going to start training every day M-F at 11am.

Unsure what our training would entail I decided that I wanted to do the 10am Boot Camp and then stick around to work with David after.

Class kicked my rear end as usual (Mistress Jesse taught today and when she teaches you are going to work hard.) and so by the time David and I got started I was tired.

I fully expected to do more work with the Kettlebells, but after almost 2 years you would think I'd know David well enough to know not to anticipate or assume I know what's in that pretty little head of his.

Today he decided that we needed to not focus on just training with the Kettlebells but true overall strength training.  He very wisely told me that if you have the over all strength than whatever task you set out to acheive will be easy.

That line of thinking made a hell of a lot of sense to me and I was really excited to get started with a new way of training.

On the floor in front of me, David placed this evil looking thing:
I'd seen it leaning on the wall but we never ever used it in class so I wasn't sure what it was.

I was informed it's called "A Log" and I was going to squat down, and lift it over my head 5 times.

See the thing about this critter is, it doesn't LOOK heavy. Right? I mean take a look at that photo above. It looks easy to lift and not like a device of torture at all. 
I was immediately skeptical because I know David doesn't do easy. He does simple and uncomplicated but not easy.

So I squated, brought it to my knees to rest and attempted to hoist it to my chest and then above my head.

Floor to knees was not difficult. Knees to chest? LORD did I struggle. I knew that I was supposed to be explosive with my movements but the only way it seemed I could get that damn thing from my knees to my chest was to lean all the way back and drag it up.

This clearly was NOT the way it was supposed to be done.
You will see in the first video that the first rep I did I did the proper way(and you see me ask David for a spot almost immediatley beacuse I KNEW I was going to have a hard time with this one) and then it was a struggle for the following 4.

My arms did not want to help me so I kept leaning further back to move the log into position which caused my balance to be off completely.
(My ego insists that I inform you all that while David has his hands under the log he's not helping in any way. I'm doing all the work. He's just there as my saftey net in case my arms gave out. )

The second I put it down, I demanded to know the weight of that steel beast. David wasn't sure. Maybe 75 pounds? Maybe  90? Maybe 85? 

He went to the office to check on the internet and determined that it weighs 110 pounds. 

I'd just lifted 110 pounds over my head 5 times?! I processed this fact for a little and immediately wanted it to be my turn again. 

I had to share with David who wanted to see how much he could do and so you will see us adding plates to his reps.  Then it was my turn again. David left the "bolts" on which weigh 5 pounds each so this round I'm working with 120 pounds.  You once again see me struggle with the weight, leaning back to get it to position and off balance.

David took his turn adding weight and making it look effortless.

Something must have happened in that 4 or 5 mins between my lifts beacuse the 3rd time I did it, I got it. I found the strength and the power to get it up to my chest and then above my head properly. I was so happy and proud of myself! Not only did I put 110 pounds over my head 15 times, I didn't let my first two less than perfect attempts get me down and psych me out.

Then it was David's turn again. (blah, blah, effortless, blah blah)

I did one more set of 5 and though my muscles were tired I once again dug deep and didn't lean backwards, wasn't off balance and I got them done.

David added enough weight to bring it up to about 200 pounds (I'm still not sure of the math but I think he had over 200 pounds)
He attempted it but couldn't do it. Rather than be a schmuck and keep trying and possibily hurting himself he went down a little in weight. He got one good rep in and quit.

We then went on to do snatches with the Kettlebells.
He had initially wanted me at the end of 200 snatches to do 50 pullups on the bars. I told him he was on serious crack. (Actually what I told him was that I'd try and we would see what I could do)
Thankfully he forgot about that part of our workout when I couldn't complete the 200 he wanted me to do. I'm quite certain I know what I'll be doing tomorrow at 11:00am.

If you don't want to watch the whole video(s)  because there is a lot of  down time here are the times when we lift.
My 1st attempt is right at the start of the first video
David's 1st is at 5:40
My 2nd attempt is at 7:20
David's 2nd is at 10:20
My 3rd attempt is at 12:00

Lift times in this video
David's 1st is at 1:55
My 1st and last is at 3:05
David's 2nd is at 8:00
David's 3rd is at 9:30

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Boot Camp

I haven't been able to post much because 1) we haven't done any practicing for the upcoming certification 2) Classes have been NUTSO crowded lately. 
Our studio doesn't have air conditioning so it's become like a Bikram Boot Camp.  At the end of class I'm dripping with sweat. Even my eyelids sweat!
We've been doing lots of work outside on the loading dock which is great since it's nice and long and we get to do lots of reps of whatever we are doing.

So no video and no real photos but I did snap a before and after of myself today.
Ignore my sexy deer in a headlight thing I have going on...

This is at home, before Boot Camp:
and in the bathroom at the studio after boot camp:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More Practice Video

I knew I wasn't going to make it to class today so I'd arranged to do a quick practice like I did last night.
100 swings, 20 Clean & Press on each side and 20 snatches on each side.

My head wasn't in it tonight. I was all sorts of distracted and spent more time yapping than actually working. (I've overdubbed the video with music so you don't have to listen to the children and the really awful music he plays and us talking. However, if I'd left that all in, you might have an idea of why I was so distracted.)

I've also discovered that I am shaped a bit like a dumpling.
It's really easy to fool ones self when there are no full length mirrors in the home but to see this video and to see my fat and fluff in all its glory and to see it in silhouette (I still haven't found a place to put the camera that doesn't have light behind me)....Let's say it's got me more motivated than ever.

Tonight's video is a long-ish one so I won't be insulted if I'm the only one that watches it.
I'm taking all this video beacause there are no mirrors in the studio and so the video allows me to see exactly what I'm doing and how it looks and what I need to work on.

Still feeling good about my snatches and getting better on the clean and presses.

Tried to do a little bit of everything using the 12kg kettlebell since that's the one I'll have to use for the certification.
I'm starting to get comfortable with the moves but I'm afraid to get used to using the lighter weight.  I think it's time to start to mix it up a little bit.  I know I'm not yet strong enough to do an entire practice with the 12kg but I'm going to at least do the 100 swings with it and see how mad my arms are at me after.

I also tried a trick that I learned watching a Steve Cotter Kettlebell video.  I've long felt that I'm squatting too much when I do my swings and he suggested placing a Kettlebell between your legs and if when you swing the Kettlebells hit each other, you are squatting too low.

Of course, my problem with this is, I'm unsure how to correct it. I'm short with very short legs and short arms. If  I don't squat I'm going to slam my pelvic bone with that iron weight every single time.

Tomorrow I'm going to do the 9am Yoga class and the 10am Boot Camp. If there is anything at all left in my tank I'll practice the swings using my hips more than my knees.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Boot Camp Tonight

This morning I had to go to the Apple Store to get my IPhone replaced since my darling spouse knocked it out of my hands and it died.

That meant no Boot Camp for me this morning.  I didn't want to miss a day so I asked David about coming to the 5:15pm with the kids.  He suggested that I come at 5:50 and get a quick workout in between the two evening classes.

The kids were able to zoom around and do their thing and I was able to practice my swings, cleans & press-es and snatches.

I only got part of it all on video but before I actually turned the camera on (face meet palm) I did 100 swings and about 20 C&Ps on either side.  Then I wandered over to the camera and actually turned it on.

I'm glad I did beacuse I still hate my C&Ps. They don't feel easy and I still feel like I'm yanking and pulling the Kettlebell into place.  On the other hand, I'm not so hateful with my snatches. They look better than I thought they did and certainly better than they felt.

You can see my frustration at parts and while I love my children, concentrating with them around is damn near impossible.

I'm going to be doing this again tomorrow night and I'm going to try to do everything a little faster and see how it feels.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today's Report

I went to the 10am Boot Camp today and David was feeling FEISTY.

He had us jog to the other building at the Monroe Center and do the 6 flights of stairs (that's about 100 stairs) up and down twice then jog back, walking lunges the length of the loading dock, and then I swear to God my brain has erased what we did for the middle portion other than at some point we found ourselves running BACK to the other building for 2 more rounds of stairs and then back to the studio for trunk twist and overhead presses with the Kettlebells.

Stupid me I grabbed and stayed with the 20 pound bell. Hindsight being what it is, I should have gone much lighter but I'm a stubborn gal who loves to push my own boundries and boy am I paying for it now!

By the time class was over I was TOAST. Of course I'd agreed to stick around to take part in a video shoot for the studio that meant my workout was not done.

David wanted to show all the things offered at Boot Camp so we did Yoga with my beloved Mistress Jesse and then Brazilian Jujitsu.

In the Yoga portion Jesse had us in a downward dog position:

 and then into a Warrior Pose.

This progression  required me to, while still in the V shape of the downward dog take my right (and later the left) leg and bring it up between my hands in a sort of a lunge position. I think my foot was lined up with my boobs. There was no way I had the range of motion or the flexibility to get that foot up by my hands.

I really liked Yoga though and despite my struggle would for sure do it again.

Onto the Jujitsu portion of the workout.
He had us down in a super low squat to practice a Frog Walk. Super low squat, straight back, hands in front of you. Think of how a cat looks when they are sitting.

I am NOT built to move this way. I was up on my toes to get my hands to touch the floor. The only way I would have been able to do what he was requesting would have been if I was sitting down.

When he asked us to put our foot where our opposite hand was I had to supress a snort.
I am short and I am compact. I cannot at this stage in the game get my body to do that so I did the best that I could but if there is anything that appears more ungraceful or uncoordinated than I did trying to make that move I dare you to find it for me.

I respect the hell out of folks who can get down with the different forms of Martial Arts but I don't think I will ever be one of them.

After the Jujitsu & Yoga we went to the Boot Camp portion. David hollered out what he wanted to showcase (Someone on the ship ropes, someone on the Bosu Ball, someone doing Burpees and again I'm having a mental block because I can't remember the other stations) I called dibs on the Kettlebell. He wanted simple swings and I thought I had enough left in my tank to crank out a few good swings. I grabbed the 8kg bell which is about 17 pounds. David swooped in and snatched away the sweet pink bell and replaced it with the 16kg or 45 pound purple beastie.

I think I eaked out about 10 swings before I had to drop down to the blue 12kg or 26 pounds. 
I can't wait to see this video when it's done.

If nothing else, perhaps my presence and my very obvious struggle to keep up and do the moves will encourange folks who think they can't do the stuff at Boot Camp to come and give it a shot! I keep saying if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. This video should prove it.

Don't think I'm putting myself down. I'm not. I just know I'm a little fat white momma with awful balance, zero rhythm and fat in places that make getting my short stubby legs the places they were supposed to be today damn near impossible. 

Anyone remember those workout videos in the 1980's where they had two different students behind the teacher, one doing high impact and one doing low?

Found this on YouTube and as a small aside, my mother and I used to do this very video.

I'm the gal in red. I'm the low impact, not as intense or as fit or strong as everyone else in class student.  I'm there, I'm participating and I'm even having a great time but I'm in no way as advanced or as in shape as those around me. 

I'm also really really okay with that. I actually like it. I like that when folks see me they don't see a super toned, crazy in shape, zero bodyfat, never breaking a sweat or out of breath kinda gal.

They see someone on a journey and if they stick around, they might see some really cool changes along the way

I'm so exhausted right now my eyelashes hurt. The lunges down the loading dock  & the stairs destroyed my legs (in a good way) and the Kettlebell work combined with the Yoga means my arms are screaming at me right now.

Over all it was a good good day

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fear & Limitations

Yesterday we did the NYC Walk Now For Autism Event for Autism Speaks with my walk team "Team Brian The Lion"
This is my oldest son who is not on the Autism Spectrum. He is the most rockin 7 1/2 year old kid on the entire planet.

As I was standing on line a guy handed me a card promoting an upcoming bike ride for Autism.

I was super excited. A NYC bike event that benefits Autism Speaks? Holy Smokes I'm so there I'm not even here anymore!!!

Then I noticed the name of the event..."Bridges Ride for Autism" and my heart sank a bit. Maybe it wasn't ALL bridges. Maybe it was just one and then a flat-ish ride.

I went home and checked out the event website
Begin at the Seaport.
Then go over:

  •  Brooklyn Bridge
  • Manhattan Bridge
  • Williamsburg Bridge
  • Pulaski Bridge
  • Queensboro Bridge

Return South Street Seaport…you did it!
My immediate reaction?
"No freakin way I can do that."
This ride is ALL hills and not nice easy hills. Mean long hills that make you rethink your love of bike riding kind of hills. (At least they are for this hill hatin momma)

As I was soaking in a tub my mind wandered back to the ride. Autism Speaks is my pet charity. It's an organization that has been there for me since my son was diagnosed as being on the spectrum.
In the three plus years I've been involved for them I've raised close to $5,000 and feel that that doesn't even come close to enough to thank them for all the resources, contacts, support, information and acceptance I've received from them.

Was the fact that this ride has some hills going to keep me from an event that benefits these amazing people and this amazing group?
How small minded and fearful was I?! How hard was my self confidence lacking?! The ride isn't for another month! Why that's plenty of time to get my gams into better shape to do this ride and take on (or attempt to take on) every single hill that is put in my path.

Above all that though, here was another opportunity to push myself and set a goal that was currently out of reach and unobtainable. How proud of myself would I be if I attempted this ride?! How cool would it be if I were able to make it over one or two of the bridges without dismounting?!

I think I might have to sign up...

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This entry is a little different than my others. This one has nothing to do with exercise or weight loss. It has to do with my dog Humphrey.

Humphrey is my 13 year old tri colored Basset Hound. I've had him since he was 8 weeks old.

He's all grey now and has really severe arthritis in his front paw.  The arthritis has gone from mild to severe in a very short period of time.  I'm taking him to the vet today to discuss our options.
We've been through 2 medications both which worked for a while but have stopped and now do nothing.

He can't put any weight on the paw and he's just a sweet mess.

I'm hoping that the vet will take a look at the joint and come up wtih a miracle drug but I'm thinking that today might be the day I say goodbye to my pal.

Here are three short videos I took this morning.

I wanted to update this post and share the diagnosis.

Humphrey has cancer. The vet is 99%sure it's bone cancer. I opted to forgo the very expensive xray since the end result will be the same. There is nothing we can do but put him on pain killers and make him comfortable. No way of knowing how long he has but I'll take whatever I can get.  I'm just thankful he was able to come home with me to see the rest of his days.